Eliot Fisk, one of America’s most renowned classical guitarists, takes the stage this week at the Nantucket Musical Arts Society’s second concert of its much-anticipated 2023 summer season. Fisk will perform at 7 pm this Tuesday, July 18th in Saint Paul’s Church, 20 Fair Street, the new venue this summer for the Nantucket Musical Arts Society’s (NMAS) acclaimed summer series, now in its 64th season.
Known worldwide as a charismatic performer famed for his adventurous and virtuosic repertoire, Fisk is also celebrated for a willingness to share his musical gifts widely. After nearly 50 years in the public eye, he remains as his mentor Andres Segovia once wrote, “at the top line of our artistic world.”
NMAS will also host the concert series’ popular free “Meet the Artist” event in the Great Hall of the Atheneum, 1 India Street, at 5:30 pm on Monday, July 17 . The informal chat will allow audience members to engage Fisk in conversation about his extraordinary career, plans for the future, musical opinions, and other topics. Students and children especially are welcome.
“Eliot is a remarkable musician who can be counted on to push the limits of classical guitar whenever he plays, said Eva-Maria Tausig, NMAS President. “Anyone with an interest in hearing one of the world’s most outstanding guitar masters will not want to miss this concert.”
Fisk has performed with the “Who’s Who” of chamber musicians, including cellist Yehuda Hanani; flutist Paula Robison; clarinetist Richard Stoltzman; violinists Ruggiero Ricci, Gidon Kremer and Joshua Bell; and the Shanghai, Juilliard, Miro, Borromeo and Arditti String Quartets. Many of his creations are crossover projects performed in collaboration with diverse artists, including Paco Peña on flamenco guitar; Joe Pass and Bill Frisell on jazz guitar; chanteuse, Ute Lemper; and Turkish music specialist, Burhan Öçal.
So exceptional is Fisk’s style and approach that the repertoire of classical guitar has been transformed by many of his lively transcriptions, including works by Bach, Scarlatti, Haydn, Mozart, Paganini, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Granados, Albeniz and others. Moreover, numerous new works have been dedicated to Fisk by the world’s most notable composers, including Leonardo Balada, Robert Beaser, Luciano Berio, Ralf Gawlick, Nicholas Maw, George Rochberg, Daniel Bernard Roumain and Kurt Schwertsik.
In addition to maintaining a riveting presence on the live stage, Fisk has remained a prolific recording artist. The last direct pupil of classical guitar master Andres Segovia, Fisk also studied interpretation with the legendary harpsichordist Ralph Kirkpatrick at Yale University, from which he graduated summa cum laude in 1976. Immediately thereafter, Fisk founded the guitar department at the Yale School of Music.
Described by a New York Times’ headline as a “Fiery Missionary to the Unconverted,” Fisk is currently a Professor at the Universität Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, where he teaches in five languages, as well as at the New England Conservatory in Boston.
Tickets for Fisk’s 7 pm Tuesday performance are available at the door for $30; doors open at 6:30 pm at Saint Paul’s Church, 20 Fair Street. Tickets may also be purchased in advance at the Antiques Depot, 2 South Beach St.
The four remaining concerts of NMAS’ 2023 summer season will include baritone David Wolfe on July 25; the Cavatina Duo of Spanish flautist Eugenia Moliner and Bosnian guitarist Denis Azabagic on August 1; Boston’s Balourdet Quartet, currently in residency at the New England Conservancy’s Professional String Quartet Program, on August 8; and noted pianist Llewellyn Sanchez- Werner on August 15. For more about the 2023 season’s performances or to learn more about NMAS, visit nantucketmusicalartssociety.org or call 508-228-1287.